Should Jodie Meeks Be a Key Cog in Lakers’ Rebuild?

Eighty percent of the guys on the current Los Angeles Lakers roster are without a contract for next season.

And, Jodie Meeks is one of them.

Meanwhile, the sharpshooter is having a career season, averaging 15.3 points per game and shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc.

Meeks is in the second and final year of his contract in Los Angeles, earning the modest salary of $1.55 million. Lakers management, meanwhile, is in the midst of clearing the deck of salary in order to create enough cap space to go after a maximum contract-type star, either this summer or next.

The obvious risk is that in executing this rebuild, the Lakers stand to lose a number of useful core players who are earning the NBA equivalent of the minimum wage.

One of the few highlights in this dismal Lakers season came on March 9 in a Sunday afternoon win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. You might have expected somebody to score a whole lot of points, but nobody figured it would be Meeks—dropping 42 off the bench and leading his team to the upset.

Doug Collins, the shooting guard’s former head coach, was doing color commentary that day for ABC and was effusive in his praise, describing the gunner as “one of the fastest players in the NBA, end line to end line.”

Collins later elaborated on his comment again for good measure, in case anyone hadn’t noticed before:

“He may be the fastest guy in the NBA.”

Meeks, the fastest guy in the NBA, really? You don’t usually think of him that way, perhaps because he’s not necessarily a great ball-handler. Collins later acknowledged as much with a laugh, during an exchange with Hubie Brown.

If Meeks had point guard handles he’d be making a fortune in the league, but that unfortunately isn’t the case. Nonetheless, he’s worked hard to improve that aspect of his game, an...

About the Author